This month’s Review Round-up features two cartoonists who frequently work on their comics in the Art Department, plus a peek inside Reptile House Comix’s latest summer issue. Smell ya later, summer!
Gecko by Nate Garcia
Alanzo Sneak is a modern cowboy with modest hopes and dreams: to share a square meal with his girl Plump Pocket, a bodacious doe-eyed horsey; to avoid cryptocurrency at all costs; and to mack on Lady Gaga in his dreams. I can’t say what unfolds in Gecko falls entirely in Alanzo’s favor, however. A yellow gecko with a penchant for lickin’ is the cute foil to the cowboy’s otherwise chill day. But even when fate deals its worst deck of cards to poor Alanzo, he manages to sarcastically quip through the pain: during a bedridden viewing of late-night TV one eve, he pops a peace sign and utters “LOL moment!” while Plump Pocket quietly cheeses by his stead.
- One of the most awkward meals in cowboy history
- A cool barf sesh
- Doggie-dealing to the law
- One smarmy Jimmy Fallon rendered by Nate Garcia as the booger-y cherry on top
This comic is compact and chuckle-licious, so if you’d care to purchase a copy from the artist, it’s small enough to fit in your saddlebag as you gallop off into greasy-fry paradise.
Nate Garcia and fellow cartoonist Molly Dwyer have teamed up for this month’s vertical display exhibit, “Molly Dwyer and Nate Garcia’s Contemporary Cartoon Fiction Picture Circus”. Both cartoonists will be reading their work at this month’s Comix Club! Please register here for this event, which will be held in the Art Department on Tuesday, September 26 from 5:30-7 p.m. You can see their work at the event, or anytime this month during open hours in the Art Department.
Reptile House Comix #12
The dozenth issue of this punk comix quarterly is a slam dunk of grotesque weirdness. The 44-page summer installment sports a cool metallic teal cover, with a chill tortoise donning shades and a popsicle, inked by Rachel Leah Gallo. Ten artists converge to deliver mud, guts, butts, and lip service.
- Molly Dwyer’s Bizarro is this issue’s opener. In this universe, one’s emotional turmoil — which Dwyer aptly describes as being “trapped in the dog crate of your mind” — can be fixed with a quick phone call to one mud-wrestling clown helpline (or so says one unhinged and tuxedo unitard-wearing clown). Dwyer inks in pleasingly dialed-up extremes: sweat oozes, mud flies, and palls of factory fumes excrete the energy of callers’ woeful confessions. Bizarro is a mad and scary world, but I kinda wanna stay awhile!
- Derick Jones’s Nosebleed is perhaps the only piece of media to contain a Wawa hoagie and an exploding head. I really enjoyed the Cronenberg-y feel of this story (don’t yuck my yum!). The inked page of the cops staring down some Wissahickon abyss at the crime scene they are about to enter was especially nice, and chilling. I only recommend maybe finishing your sandwich before reading.
- If you like lil’ pigs and high-stakes quests, Rebecca Kirby’s The Beautiful Archers is for you, for sure. One muscular babe and her steed happen upon two of their footguards, Ramona and Claire, in the middle of a chill bathing sesh post-murder. A scheming piggy soon dangles their fates by its squealin’ snout. This short comic is very funny and everyone has really good hair.
Lil and Friends Die for Real! by Catherine Epps
Derek, Little Ray, Wallace, and Lil are four friends with a bond so tight, that it continues on into the afterlife (prepare yourself for spooky). When Lil collects a famous local possum, Ol man Sam, in the hopes of bringing a pal on her move to a new city, she and the gang begin a dangerous tango with a Grim Reaper-in-training. Chaos ensues online and IRL!!!
- The storytelling in this comic is clever and full. You really get the sense that you are a part of this awkward friend group.
- While the comic itself is black-and-white, there’s a colorful centerfold that takes you inside “Find Quest II”, the video game these friends log on to play. It includes a challenging look and find (searching for the frog was my favorite).
- Lastly, this comic offers a true cliffhanger, yikes! I can’t wait for the next one.